Hello Good People!
I have a new feature for you. One of the main reasons I started this blog last fall (Has it really been that long?) was to get a little of my fiction writing out there. I’m working on my first novel and besides cranking that out, I write short stories and flash fiction too. Basically, I’m looking for feedback, comments, criticism and whatever else pops in your head. So, every now and then I’ll be posting a story or two. I would LOVE for you to toss your two cents in the comments section.
Anywho, my first entry in this new feature is below. It’s called “Flow” and it’s something I wrote a couple years ago for a fiction writing class. This is part one of three. Part two will be posted on Thursday at noon and part three will be up on Friday at noon.
Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy!
Flow (Part 1 of 3)
Candle flames licked dangerously close to the haphazard pile of napkins on the makeshift bar. I prided myself on my sense of adventure and my fearless approach to risk, but I just couldn’t bear the thought of that little poetry spot burning down knowing I could have stopped it. So, I used my empty beer bottle to shepherd the napkins to safety. The bartender, Terrance, saw my empty bottle and gave me a wink as he motioned towards the two coolers on the floor behind the bar. The green cooler had regular beer and the red cooler had light beer. I chose the green cooler. Terrance let his fingers linger on my hand as he gave me my drink.
“A regular beer for a beauty that is anything but. Here you go, my exquisite gem. This one’s on me, my dear. “
“Thank you T. You are just too sweet.”
I blew him a kiss and slid two dollars his way. I had exactly one dollar left in my purse. It would have been just enough to get a three dollar beer, but I was glad Terrance hooked me up. That dollar could be used the next day to get a plain bagel in the morning from that bakery on the corner. I had two days till payday, so I was going to have to live on the change from my purses and coats till then. Terrance probably knew my pockets were a little light. He was a poet too, so he understood the life of a literally starving artist.
I settled into the well-worn grooves of the wooden bar stool and positioned myself so I could catch a glimpse of the stage. I finally settled on cocking my head to the right so I could see past the guy with the funky hat and the woman with the super-sized afro. As long as they stayed exactly where they were, I could the see side edge of the stage. Just as I found my sweet spot, the host stepped up to the microphone.
“Lovely people, please put your hands together for our next and final poet of the evening. He made his way uptown all the way from Brooklyn, so make him feel like the trip was worth it. Funk Flow Café, I present to you… Calvin ‘Prince Charming’ Edwards.”
I applauded with everyone else, but still rolled my eyes at the thought of someone who would actually call himself Prince Charming. I was ready to settle into my seat and make small talk with T, which is what I usually did when the poet on stage sucked, but then my eyes caught sight of Mr. Prince Charming.
His dark green t-shirt, tucked neatly into his jeans, perfectly complemented skin that looked like cinnamon colored silk. The spotlight made his soft nest of curls sparkle and highlighted his square jaw and chiseled cheekbones. Surely, he was actually speaking into the microphone because his mouth was moving, but my ears were pre-occupied with fantasies of pre-dawn moans. His hands would have nestled perfectly on my waist. I could almost feel the weight of his body on mine and just for a moment, it took my breath away. My carnal thoughts were interrupted by thunderous applause. Apparently he had finished his piece. I missed the entire thing yet I knew he was a phenomenal poet. His brilliant smile was poetry. His broad chest was poetry. He didn’t have to say a word. Prince Charming was poetry in the flesh.
He exited the stage amid a standing ovation and made his way towards the door, which was near my seat. I thought about approaching him, but thought better of it when I saw a trail of women tagging along behind him trying to get his attention. It was quite possible that I would have blurted out something goofy and embarrassing in my attempt to be smooth, so I opted to just watch him and see if he noticed me. I casually sipped my beer and pushed my sandy brown dreads behind my ears. I wished I had worn a skirt instead of jeans and maybe a tank top instead of that Angela Davis t-shirt.
Prince Charming politely accepted the compliments of his new batch of adoring fans and steadily edged toward the door. When he got directly in front of me he gently grabbed my hand and led me out of the door with him. The other women took this to mean that I was with him and immediately backed away. A warm night breeze greeted us when we got outside. We stopped walking a few paces from the door, right under a streetlight. Prince Charming was even more attractive close up. His eyes sparkled as if there was diamond dust sprinkled in them.
“So, Prince Charming, is this how you usually end your nights? You pick one lucky lady to fend off the evil maidens and then whisk her off to the castle?”
“Actually, the only castle I’m thinking about right now is White Castle. Are you hungry? Oh and you can just call me Cal if you’re going to say Prince Charming with that skeptical little tone of yours. What’s your name anyway?”
“Asking me out on a date before you even know my name, huh? My name is Ruby. My friends call me Ru and yes I am hungry, but you’re not gonna find any White Castles around here. I actually live a few blocks down, so I know the area. At 3:00 am you only have a couple options. You can either get a greasy slice from that pizza place over there or you can get something from this 24-hour diner that’s a couple minutes away.”
“I think we’ll try our luck with the diner. Shall we?”
Read Part Two on Thursday at noon.